Erick Dampier never messed with Tony Parker. He didn’t have to.
Instead of delivering his guaranteed hard foul, Dampier and the Dallas Mavericks slapped around the San Antonio Spurs with tight defense, the return of Dirk Nowitzki’s shooting touch and the energy of their home crowd, turning it into an 88-67 victory Thursday night and a 2-1 lead in their first-round series.
Dampier drew the scrutiny of the league office for saying he would pop Parker on his first drive of this game. Dampier ended up going the whole game without colliding with Parker.
San Antonio finished with its fewest points in a playoff game, while it was the fewest Dallas ever allowed in the postseason.